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A Brief Lesson in Croquet

It's that time of year; yard game season. Something about the combination of sunshine and cold beverages in the backyard seems to elicit an innate desire within all of us for friendly (or not so friendly) competition while we're hanging out in the summer heat.

Nowadays when it comes to backyard recreation/leisure, there are literally hundreds of games and activities to choose from, with more and more hitting the market every year. Rather than focus on the newest fads in this week's blog post, however, we opted to explore a classic staple that has been around for centuries (in one form or another): Croquet.


Croquet is a game that almost everyone is familiar with, yet surprisingly few people actually know how to play properly. Why learn a old fashioned game when you can just throw some beanbags at a hole in a piece of wood, right? Nothing against good old corn hole, we love it as much as anyone else, but croquet is a classy, classic game that also happens to be a real treat to play as well. The best part is, its fairly simple too and a nice break from the status quo. Below we'll give a brief tutorial of the most common form of croquet in the United States, which is typically referred to as 9-Wicket Croquet or simply, Backyard Croquet.

What You'll Need:

  1. 9 Wickets (Hoops)
  2. Two Stakes
  3. 2-6 Balls (One per player)

Set Up: 

The course set up for 9-Wicket Croquet is known as a double diamond configuration, and one stake as placed at each end of the course. The players start at a stake on one end of the course, and make their way down one side of the double diamond toward the stake at the opposite end, making sure to pass their ball through each of the wickets in order to continue advancing. Any time a player passes a ball through a wicket, they are awarded a bonus swing. Likewise, any time a player strikes a ball that does not go through a wicket, their turn expires. 

Once a player is able to strike the stake at the far end of the course with their ball, they then begin to make their way back along the other side of the double diamond. If playing individually, the first player to hit the second stake is the winner. In team play, all members of a team must hit the second stake in order to claim a victory.

Sometimes, a player's ball may be struck and hit another player's ball. In this situation, called a Roquet, the player who shot gets two bonus shots.

For more information on Croquet, enjoy this humorous and informative video from Howcast:

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